Wrapped in peace, our days here were magical, spent lazing by the lavender-fringed pool and exploring this extraordinary region of France, with its ancient caves, hair-pin roads and some of the country’s prettiest villages. We can't wait to come again and sit, glass of cool wine in hand, feet submerged in the pool, gazing out across the pristine rolling landscapes of the Gard as night falls.
- Caroline and Olivier couldn’t be warmer or more welcoming, and they’re full of local recommendations
- The setting is heaven, with long views over vineyards and olive groves to the Cevennes mountains
- Just 6 great-value bedrooms, all unique, all special
- A French feast for breakfast, and wonderful dinners on certain nights
- Perfect for couples in search of a romantic retreat, or friends seeking outdoor adventures: bikes to hire, hiking, pot-holing, rock climbing and kayaking nearby
- It gets booked up incredibly quickly
- You'll need a car to explore the region
- Restaurants are a drive away and in low season many are closed
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Guesthouse
- 6 rooms
- Breakfast + other meals on request
- Children aged 8 and over welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Honesty bar
- Electric car charger
There are 6 rooms, including a self-contained apartment in the garden (the Duplex). We stayed in Room 1, and fell head-over-heels for its original curved ceiling and exposed brickwork. A table, made by Olivier, rests atop a hand-woven rug; wildflowers sit in vases on wooden shelves, and the sumptuous bed is covered with white linens and a soft grey throw. The bathroom is lovely too, with patterned tiles, organic toiletries by Oceopin, and a rainfall shower.
The other rooms are similarly striking, some nestled beneath the eaves. Room 4 has a vast bathtub and an extra bed (good for families), Room 5 has a lovely sitting area. Room 3 is the largest, and comes with a living room and wood-burning stove plus a south-facing balcony. We’d recommend the Duplex for couples; beautifully romantic with huge windows at the end of the bed, a basic kitchenette, and a fireplace in its living area. Room 1 is cool groud-floor sanctuary with low vaulted ceilings; be aware that the only light and ventilation is from the glassed door.
Note, there are no bathrobes or TVs. All rooms have access to the kitchen's honesty bar, guest lounge and terrace.
- In room treatments available
Breakfast is served on the vast terrace (or in the kitchen on rare grey days), and is a marvellous French feast. The local baker drops bread and pastries off at the house each morning, and Caroline complements these with homemade pancakes, local honey, fresh yogurt, seasonal fruit, organic granola and an array of cheeses. We loved sitting in the morning sun, overlooking the mountains, sipping on fresh coffee and talking to the other guests. Duplex guests can have breakfast for an additional cost.
Caroline can put together picnics on request, and you can join evening meals with advance notice on Mon or Weds. Generous tapas platters are also available.
There are some excellent restaurants in the surrounding villages - ask Caroline and Olivier for recommendations (you'll need to drive).
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Laze by the pool, then play a round of petanque, accompanied by a glass of local wine from the honesty bar
- Visit the Caverne du Pont d’Arc, a replica of the original Unesco world heritage site: it holds some of the earliest cave paintings ever found, and they are simply awe-inspiring
- Hike in the Cevennes national park, or hire bikes; the Tour du France loops through this area, and Olivier can recommend routes and even guide you
- Spend a day at the Gorges de l’Ardèche, an impressive canyon with steep walls, sandy beaches and free-standing arches spanning the Ardèche river. The drive through the gorge is spectacular, or you can hire kayaks to float through
- Cycle to local vineyards
- Head to medieval La Roque-sur-Ceze, one of the most beautiful villages in France, with pretty cobbled streets. While there, walk along the river to the impressive Sautadet Falls and swim in the river
- There are fantastic regional markets; nearby Barjac's is on a Friday morning, and many of the stall holders are local farmers, craftsmen and bakers. At Easter and in August there is an international brocante (antique and second-hand market)
Activities on site or nearby include:
La Maison Papillons welcomes children aged 8 and over, though it is mostly aimed at adults to keep the peaceful atmosphere.
Family friendly accommodation:
Most rooms can either fit an extra bed or come with a sofabed. Rooms 2 and 4 can be set up as triples on request.
Kids Activities on site:
A petanque pitch and a saltwater pool (unheated).
Families Should Know:
The pool is unfenced, and there are animals (cats, chickens, a dog, and sometimes a pony) on-site.
- Airport: 90 mins (Nimes)
- Shop: 5 minutes' walk
La Maison Papillons is in Monteil, 5km from the village of Montclus and 12km from Barjac and Goudargues in southern France.
The nearest airport is Avignon - a 50-minute drive - but you could also fly into Nîmes (96km away), Montpellier (132km away) or Marseille (141km away). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
By Train & Car:
Take the TGV to Avignon or Montélimar and hire a car from there. There’s secure parking on site, as well as an electric car charger.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to France and getting around
- Avignon 82.0 km AVN
- Nimes 96.0 km FNI
- Beach 140.0 km
- Shops 12.0 km
- Restaurant 12.0 km